Time for More Wine
The fall and winter are a great time to sample new vintages at area restaurants and stores. Look for special events at these places.
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On a typical Monday night in February, The Buttery restaurant in Lewes might serve 35 dinners. But with a little help from the reds and whites, Buttery Owner John Donato can easily double that.
The Buttery (102 Second St., Lewes, 645-7755) started holding multi-course dinners that pair food with wine 13 years ago. The idea is still going strong—and it has taken off elsewhere as other restaurant owners discover that wine dinners and tastings mean business during the off-season.
It also gives food-and-wine lovers something to do after they’ve bought their share of Kate Spade and Under Armour gifts at the outlets.
Most restaurants promote the wine dinners on their Websites and through an email newsletter. Diners can expect between four and six courses and pay between $50 to $100. Some restaurants might focus on a particular region, say, France or Argentina, or they may take the opportunity to introduce guests to wines they may not normally buy.
“We like working with small producers,” Donato says. “We like to promote new and unusual wines.”
The events typically feature a wine expert from a distributor or winery who can talk about the vintages. During a wine dinner at Nage (19730 Coastal Hwy., Rehoboth Beach, 226-2037), a vineyard representative may talk about how the wine is made. The restaurant holds wine dinners year round.
Eden (23 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-3330) typically holds its once-a-month wine dinners on Friday nights. The restaurant sometimes highlights varietals from a particular winery. At other times it features wines from a specific country. Expect a celebration of Italian wines this fall, says director of operations Danielle Panarello. The restaurant also hosts a popular New Year’s Day wine dinner.
A dismal economy prompted Back Porch Café (59 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-3674) to suspend its wine dinners for two seasons, manager Keith Fitzgerald says. “People were going more for daily specials,” he says. But with more people digging into their wallets this the summer, Fitzgerald expects the wine dinners to make a comeback in the fall. “People are spending more money,” Fitzgerald says. The four-to five-course dinners cost $70.
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